Employees can return once they test negative
Singapore has updated its snap work-from-home (WFH) order in events of positive cases in the workplace, reducing its duration to 10 days from the original 14. The new mandate is in line with the Health Ministry’s order to also reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days. According to the ministry's instruction, the WFH scheme should be implemented no later than one day after three or more employees in the same workplace test positive for COVID-19.
"Implement the 10-day snap work-from-home regime for those who can work from home as soon as possible," the mandate read.
"Immediately vacate and cordon-off the immediate section of the workplace premises where the confirmed case worked. There is no need to vacate the building or the whole floor if there had been no sustained and close contact with the confirmed case.”
Employees affected by the WFH order are urged to monitor their health and self-administer antigen rapid tests (ART) during the 10-day period. They can only return to the workplace for essential reasons if they test negative through the ART.
"The test should be completed before they return to the workplace, and not be more than 24 hours before the end of their ad-hoc return to the workplace," the ministry further instructed.
The order aims to prevent further outbreaks of cluster infections in the workplace. Aside from the WFH order, managers are also prohibited from holding social gatherings within offices. No cross-deployment is allowed and permitted work-related events should be capped to 50 persons with attendees observing one metre of social distancing.
Since August 19, more employees have been permitted to return to office - however, employers must ensure that no more than 50% of their staff are at present in the workplace at any one time.